Name Aeroflot Flight 8352
Place Lake Chud, near Minsk, USSR
Event Distant night lights
This report, which comes from both the people’s paper and also the official news agency, TASS, was publicized in 1985, though no date was given for the event.
According to the report, Flight 8352 was flying from Tbilisi to Tallin when at approximately four o’clock in the morning the plane, a Tupolev TU-134, encountered “cloud ufos”. The first trace of the sighting was apparently when the second officer noticed a bright star-like object above and to the right which seemed to fire a laser-like beam down toward the ground. Other crew members confirmed the sighting.
The laser-like beam of light thinned out into a more diffuse cone of light; all the crew of the Tupolev estimated that they were looking at something coming from approximately 30 miles (48 km) high. The cone of light had been scanning the ground and illuminating the landscape very clearly; suddenly it turned on the aircraft itself, obscuring the crew’s vision.
Suddenly the star-like source of the beam seemed to increase in size, becoming almost a yellowish-green cloud, and it looked as if it was rapidly approaching the craft. For this reason the captain ordered radio details to be confirmed of the sighting to air traffic control in Minsk, which was unable to verify the sighting visually or by radar.
The cloud UFO exhibited some non-ballistic movement, finally swinging round to behind the Tupolev and pacing its flight. The crew noticed smaller lights zigzagging inside the cloud. Finally, air traffic control admitted they could see flashes of light on their horizon, which was in approximately the correct position for the transmission from the Tupolev.
Remarkably, the cloud at one point seemed to be trying to camouflage its shape, replicating the outline of the Tupolev itself! The passengers were now somewhat alarmed by the cloud and the captain instructed them to be told that they were seeing the aurora borealis.
A second aircraft flying in the opposite direction also confirmed the sighting when the two aircraft were some ten miles (sixteen kilometres) apart. As they were examining the cloud UFO with lakes Chud and Pskov in the background they were able to make a reasonably accurate estimate of the size of the cloud, some 25 miles (40 km) wide. When the Tupolev landed at Tallin the radar control there confirmed that radar had detected not just the aircraft but two additional returns.
In March 1985 the USSR Academy of Sciences announced the Aeroflot crew of Flight 8352 had encountered “something we call ufos”.
(UFOs: The Definitive Casebook, Spencer)